Dungeons & Dragons Online

What can PCs do to “beat” a storm?

Hello, one and all!

I'm running a nautical pirate/sailor themed campaign, and I want to run an encounter where the ship is caught up in a storm. I looked at the rules for a storm in Saltmarsh, and felt they were a little lacking, and skipped over the meat of what a storm encounter should entail (largely just boiling down to "roll a dice, see if you win"). So I have a ship battlemap set up on roll20 with an atmosphere and effects and such, but I'm not sure what the goal should be for the PCs.

So far I have a table of effects I'm going to roll on as a "lair action" to hinder the players and introduce new problems as they solve the previous ones (I'll include it at the bottom), but I'm also trying to work out what the "win conditions" should be. So far, I've got something where they need to fold up the sails to stop them tearing and help keep the ship upright, and a surprise where a plank breaks causing a hull breach later on to keep them on their toes, but I started running out of ideas beyond that and just threw in something about helping the navigator plot a course out of the storm (which doesn't help much when the sails are down…). I don't want to turn this into a monster fight, instead I'd rather focus on essentially the storm itself as the encounter and how the party can overcome it. If anyone has any other ideas on what I could include for the party to do, please let me know. The party are Lv4, btw.

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My random D6 table for storms:

1- A Big Wave hits the port side of the ship

2- A Big Wave hits the Starboard side of the ship

3- A Small Wave hits the port side of the ship

4- A Small wave hits the Starboard side of the ship

5- Lightning Strikes a random part of the ship (like the Call Lightning spell) and a fire starts

6- Nothing happens!

Big Waves are: 2D8 bludgeoning damage to the ship. PCs on deck take a DC15 STR check and on a fail take 2D8 Bludgeoning damage (halved on success), while also being pushed D10 feet in the appropriate direction. The crew collectively take a DC12 STR check, and on a fail a number of them equal to the amount they failed by are pushed D10 ft towards the edge.

Small Waves are D8 Bludgeoning to the ship and the PCs take a DC12 STR check or get pushed D6 ft. The crew collectively take a DC10 STR check, and on a fail a number of them equal to the amount they failed by are pushed D6 ft towards the edge.

Let me know if you think this table is too harsh. The idea was that it's avoidable, since players can simply go below deck or up the rigging to avoid it, so when it does it I want it to be felt.

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Thanks for your help friends!

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